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E'en should the Phrygian God enrich my tongue
With honey'd eloquence, such as erst did fall
From Nestor's or Antenor's lips,
as the all-accomplished Euripides says, my good Timocrates—
I never should be able
to recapitulate to you the numerous things which were said in those most admirable banquets, on account of the varied nature of the topics introduced, and the novel mode in which they were continually treated. For there were frequent discussions about the order in which the dishes were served up, and about the things which are done after the chief part of the supper is over, such as I can hardly recollect; and some one of the guests quoted the following iambics from The Lacedæmonians of Plato—
Now nearly all the men have done their supper;
'Tis well.—Why don't you run and clear the tables
But I will go and straight some water get
For the guests' hands; and have the floor well swept;
And then, when I have offer'd due libations,
I'll introduce the cottabus. This girl
Ought now to have her flutes all well prepared,
Ready to play them. Quick now, slave, and bring
Egyptian ointment, extract of lilies too,
[p. 1063] And sprinkle it around; and I myself
Will bring a garland to each guest, and give it;
Let some one mix the wine.—Lo! now it's mix'd
Put in the frankincense, and say aloud,
“Now the libation is perform'd.” 2 The guests
Have deeply drunk already; and the scolium
Is sung; the cottabus, that merry sport,
Is taken out of doors: a female slave
Plays on the flute a cheerful strain, well pleasing
To the delighted guest; another strikes
The clear triangle, and, with well-tuned voice,
Accompanies it with an Ionian song.

1 This is one of the fragments of unknown plays of Euripides.

2 The original text here is very corrupt, and the meaning uncertain.

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